Tuesday, October 25, 2011


You're at a friend's apartment on a Friday night with two or three or four other people and you've finished dinner and you're on your second bottle of wine. Someone mentions Mark's party and a few replies are muttered (you're all aware, of course, that none of you are actually going to go). You realize you're picking furiously at something you'd never usually eat (onion-flavored chips, carrot cake). A laptop surfaces, either because someone wants to pull up the profile of a dude she went on a horrific date with ("No, he's actually cute... like, short though... oh, let me just show you") or because someone wants to play a song or a YouTube video or something.

Ten minutes later, everyone is crouched around the screen as Megan clicks through a Facebook album of a college acquaintance's vacation to Bermuda. You've already seen this album, embarrassingly, but you feign shock or disgust every ten pictures or so ("Again with that black top?!" "He really does look like Jesse Eisenberg, it's so weird!"). When the album's finished, Megan opens another one ("Oooh, it looks like she's wearing a bikini in this one, guys!"). You take out your iPhone even though you know you haven't gotten any texts... and then slide it back into your pocket. Someone mentions "Moneyball" and, though you've seen it, you remain silent as Megan's boyfriend delivers his somewhat inane critique.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

my own private itunes

I am fairly certain that I have not once answered the question "What kind of music are you into?" with anything that even resembles the truth.

Usually - not that this question comes up THAT often, but, you know, it comes up - I'll just mutter something like "Oh... I dunno... all different things" or "durrrrr, you know... Adele? And, uh, I've really been into the new... Bon Iver album?"

I'm not really sure why it's music that gets me all clammy and self-conscious. I've got no problem telling people I still watch "Gossip Girl" or that I saw "What's My Number?" on my birthday (though I did shamefully refer to it as "that Anna Faris movie" in one e-mail... as if it would somehow make it less "reprehensible" if I couldn't remember the actual title? I don't know what that was about). Anyway, yeah, for some reason music just brings out this weird insecurity complex in me (and, I think, in other people, too?). There is nothing that freezes me up like being asked to "control the radio" in a car of people I don't know that well. It doesn't matter what song comes on the station, I change it after a few seconds for fear of condoning a song I shouldn't be condoning.

But ever since the advent of this new, annoying Spotify synchronization thing on Facebook - which means I now see what like 25% of my friends are listening to at all times - I've started to realize most people's music tastes are not as "cool" as I'd always imagined them to be. I suppose it's been sort of comforting in a way? Even the most self-avowed music snob people - sure, they mostly have their Werewolf Sacrifice or M&@42 going on - but they also sneak in a LMFAO or Rihanna track every now and then! It's not that I thought that these people never listened to so-called guilty pleasure tracks on occasion, but having concrete proof of it streaming through my news feed every day has been oddly satisfying.

Of course, this doesn't mean I'll be sharing my music anytime soon. And when some dude I'm talking to at a party dismissively says something like "Ugh, this, really?" when "Teenage Dream" comes on, I'm sure I'll continue to perform one of those foot-shuffle/look-at-the-ground sequences instead of responding, "Oh, this song? It's actually the fifth-most played in my iTunes."